EXPOSITION PARK (CBSLA.com) — With one player indefinitely suspended after lying about how he sustain injuries, and a second quitting after calling the Trojans’ new coach a racist, USC’s football team has seen its share of turmoil before the kickoff of its 2014 season.
On Saturday afternoon, prior to the start of USC’s game against visiting Fresno State, CBS2’s Art Barron found fans with a variety of opinions tailgating near the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Senior cornerback Josh Shaw was suspended from all team activities on Wednesday after he admitted he had lied about how he sprained both of his ankles over the weekend. He had claimed to suffer the injury after jumping from a second-floor balcony to save a nephew who was drowning at a pool party in Palmdale.
The Los Angeles Police Department has a different theory, and has been investigating a possible domestic incident at the Orsini Apartments near downtown. While detectives have been seeking an interview with Shaw, his attorney said the suspended player was not involved in any domestic situation and has apologized for fabricating the rescue story.
Some USC fans, on the other hand, have their minds made up.
“All he needed to tell them was like, ‘I was arguing with my girl, I ended up jumping on the balcony, she ended up yelling, I panicked, I jumped off the balcony, I twisted my ankles’,” said fan William Escalera.
“I’m just disappointed that these kids now feel that they have to make up lies,” added USC fan Cindy Bishop. “They can’t ever state what’s going on in real life.”
Meanwhile, senior running back Anthony Brown, who moved from defense last season, quit the team on Thursday, and claimed on his Instagram account that coach Steve Sarkisian is a racist. Sarkisian called the claim ridiculous.
“If was a racist, why would he be coaching football,” one fan said. “That makes no sense at all.”
“I think it’s just a disgruntled bench player that’s frustrated,” said another fan.
Most of the fans were ready to move on from the preseason turmoil and enjoy their tailgating before heading into the Coliseum for Saturday evening’s game.